CMS – reimbursing providers for advance-care planning

August 9, 2015
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I’m a firm believer in the importance of having conversations with family about end-of-life decisions and documenting advance directives or wishes.

I’m a firm believer in the importance of having conversations with family about end-of-life decisions and documenting advance directives or wishes.  An important member of the team in these discussions is also one’s primary care physician/NP/PA; because this person has information and knowledge that is needed in the decision making process.  Fortunately, CMS has decided to activate new procedural terminology codes that will clear the way for reimbursement beginning Jan 1, 2016.

The two codes are used for counseling patients on advance-care planning.  One for the initial 30 minutes ($86) and the other for any subsequent 30-minute blocks of time ($75).

If we ever expect to get healthcare costs under control, there must be improved reasonableness in the way we pay for healthcare.  Expansion of pay for performance  initiative is one, and actually paying providers for important work they do is another.